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Congressional subcommittee reviews wait time problem

As Boone County residents who are currently in the midst of SSD appeals know, the wait time for a person to get a hearing before an administrative law judge is too long, so long, in fact, that the problem has attracted national attention, including the ongoing scrutiny of Congress. This Missouri Social Security disability blog has been following this story and continues to do so.

A hearing before the Social Security Subcommittee of the House of Representatives addressed what could be done about the growing backlog of cases and the resulting inordinately long time it takes for people who have applied for benefits to get a decision one way or the other.

Interestingly, the Acting Chief of Staff for the Social Security Administration, who fielded questions from members of Congress at the hearing, indicated that it was not simply a matter of the Administration's not having enough funding to operate more quickly. He even suggested that throwing money at the problem without having a definite plan for how those resources would be used is an ineffective approach.

While there was a lot of talk at the hearing about the need for the Administration to streamline and modernize its decision-making process when it comes to reviewing disability claims, it seemed that the clearest message which came out of the hearing was that the President should appoint, and the Senate confirm, a permanent Social Security Commissioner who might better be able to set the direction for the Administration and thus get good results.

In the meantime, Missouri residents have to continue to live with the reality that it takes a long time to get a disability appeal through should one be needed.

Source: Financial Regulation News, "House subcommittee hearing looks at the challenge of speeding up Social Security Administration wait times," Dave Kovaleski, Sept. 15, 2017.

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